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Brrr - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BrrrBrrr

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

877 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 877
Reviews: 301
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 27
Gots: 97 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: IronDjinn on 10-19-2008

availability: Late Oct. - Early Jan.
bitterness: 50 IBU
alcohol by volume: 7.2%
original gravity: 17° PLATO

malts:
Pale, Caramel 10L & 80L,
Munich 10L, Carapils, Dark Chocolate

hops:
Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Simcoe & Cascade
View: Beers (74) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 877 | Reviews: 301
Reviews by Vancoubeer:
Photo of Vancoubeer
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer breaks all the rules for winter warmers due to the hopping instead of the spice that most in this category use.

A: It looks as it should. Its a deep mahogany but its filtered and is kind of disappointing but the lacing indicates some sticky hop acids.

Smell: Lots of toffee and caramel mixed with the citrus from the hops. The simcoe does not have that famous smell you hear about but its there and its actually nice mixed with the cascades. The notes mention dark chocolate malts but there is a hint of it here.

Taste: Well its definitely a malty winter beer but there is that really sweet citrus hop flavor from the Alchemy hops. Very interesting twist to this type of beer. Not my normal interest in this genre but its gonna grow on me. Very pleasant and the 7.2% is not there. You get that tingle in the back of your throat where you can tell its there.

Mouthfeel: Medium and its not as sticky as it seems from the lacing on the glass. Washed off by the carbonation making me want to taste more.

Overall: I would rate this higher because its so cheap and its very different from the genre and it does a very good job. I wish this was bottled in bigger bottles than just 12oz. Having to pay for a whole six pack at stores outside of bottle shops is annoying and when you shop for beers after they close, this is passed up unfortunately. But I am giving it a 4 because its really good. Hope Widmer bottles this next year in bigger bottles.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

Great formation of head with great retention to support it, brownish amber color that is bright and clear. Big and flamboyant hop nose of pine resin, grapefruit zest, hemp seeds and a hint of dark tobacco. All of that barely lets the malt transmit anything to the aroma. Creamy, smooth, medium body. Whoa, momma, yes indeed there are some hops here, and what we mean by "some," is a lot. Sporting an Ameri-hop character throughout it starts with a big splash of bitterness and then moves more into flavoring with suggestions of evergreen, grapefruit rind, hemp oil and fresh cut grass. The malt backbone is pretty damn sturdy and while it may be shadowed by the hops, it mostly lays a blankets of caramel and toasted grain on the palate. A tad fruity with a clean, warming alcohol middle to end; quick flash of raisins and plums. Finishes a little bitter and leans toward dry.

A lovely holiday beer, very well balanced and straight, aimed at the style. The Christmas Goose may have met its match.

Photo of BigMarty1980
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A-Brilliant Red Ale color

S-Strong essence of pine & straw. Modest notes of grapefruit.

T-This beer tastes like...standing on the deck of a mountain house in New Hampshire during Christmas Week Wearing a winter hat, heavy peat coat and flannel lined cargos (red & black flannel lining) there's 3 feet of snow on ground and the pine trees are cloaked in snow.

M-Moderate

O-Not like other Winter Ales that pack a strong all spice/ginger. A decent beer. Something different at the holidays

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is caramel and biscuit malt with a little bit of piney hops mixed in. A very nice aroma overall. The flavor is heavier on the hops than I expected. I get a lot of pine as well as some caramel malt. Low bitterness and very drinkable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nice take on a winter warmer.

Photo of chadjulius
2.59/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I do not know the lingo for these beers. But I do know that I generally enjoy anything Widmer Borthers release. The seasonal is hit or miss, and this is for a reason (that is, if they were as good as Drifter, then they would be offered year-round). "Brrr" had me excited; I was in the Christmas mood and their advertisements claimed that the beer had a "candy" taste. Now I do not believe advertising 97.3% of the time, but I did this time, due to company reputation.

Big mistake. This beer is repulsive to the taste. It looks good, smells good, and is strong at over 7% alcohol, but my god, it tastes horrible. I've never had it with a meal, a lemon or lime, but it disappoints every time and I will never try it again....unless I'm already drunk.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured cold from the bottle.

This beer poured a rich, amber colour with a foamy egg-shell head. The smell is of hops and citrus. The taste was sweet and malty right away, then turns to a clean-hop flavour, and follows with a very bitter aftertaste. Much like an IPA, but the bitterness is a bit much for me.

Would I buy it again? No. It wasn't that bad, but I probably will not buy it again.

Photo of pat61
4.49/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

These are a little hazy when served very cold but they brighten right up when they warm up. I let my current bottle sit out for 20 minutes or so and it pours brilliant ruby tinted dark amber under a 1” off-white foam cap with a slight tan tint. It leaves thick lace on the glass. The malt aromas recall fruit cake with caramel, light chocolate with a touch of sweetness leading to a bitter emphasis on the finish with some mild alcohol warming. Its creamy, medium full body and medium carbonation.

Photo of mj001jk
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with little foam that quickly disappears.

Malty aroma with slight hints of sweetness and dried fruit, figs and apple with quite a bit of hops shining through. I actually like the heavy hops since it gives the beer some structure to deal with the high alcohol level.

Flavors are not too complex, decent malts, not as sweet as I imagined and there is a pretty high level of bittering as the nose suggests. A tiny bit of astringent harshness in the back of the throat and not very complex.

The finish is not very exciting but not bad, the drinkability (sum of the parts) is a little higher than the various components would suggest on their own. It is keeping me warm during the cold so at least it has that thing going for it.

Photo of moundbz
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

kinda creamy malt taste then big bitter lingering finish

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown and ruby colored liquid, light beige head, around 1" and had a decent amount of lace throughout the drinking experience. Aroma was brown malt, brown sugar, who's that? Brown. . . and a respectable degree of hops.

Taste, pleasantly surprised, this ain't no boring brown ale or winter warmer, it really melds a whole lot of different flavors leading to the conclusion that this is actually a decently complex offering at a great price (5.49/6pack). Plenty of malt flavor, plenty of adjunct sugar flavor, plenty of hop additions.

The waves of different beer flavors all in one makes this plenty enjoyable. A little of everything for the winter time.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled date of Oct 15. Poured into pint glass.

Pours out copper colored with nice one finger white head with great lacing.

Smells a little roasted orange scent. Tastes very hoppy with orange overtones for this type beer. Not much of a sweet flavor to it. It is almost like an IPA.

Overall, this is a very drinkable beer. But there are many better winter warmers out there to choose this over them.

Photo of deuce9259
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber/copper color. Pours a nice head, and also has a good lace.

S - Get a lot of the hops in the nose. Citrus as well.

T - Good amount of hops, can't really tell the ABV is as high as it is. Has a dry finish.

M - Good carbonation, easy to drink.

O - This beer definitely surprised me. Less spice than I expected, also didn't catch much of the malt that was advertised. Thought it was very drinkable, and is a nice change of pace.

Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Winter Warmer is a thick but opaque orange-brown. It develops a light orange head one finger tall with good retention that remains pretty thick, leaving sticky lacing behind.
I get mostly fruits (dark) and grains on the nose before a good hops presence kicks in (think a good mix of resin and citrus rind), while a bit of spiciness and toffee sit underneath.
The taste is the same with a bit of something difficult to place (tobacco leaf, almost), grains underlying, a kiss of floral hops, and a bit of caramel. It's nicely hoppy but not exceptionally so, nor is the finish "candy sweet" as the bottle claims. It's good with the exception that the way the bitterness mingles with the grains along with the chewing tobacco elementmakes for a funky flavor at the back of the throat that's almost sulfuric. Fortunately, it's not very strong and so not terribly off-putting.
The malts provide a sturdy backbone in a medium body, light carbonation is supportive but not overdone, and there's a good transition from crisp in the front to smoother in the middle and into a pretty dry finish.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. Nov 26 11 on the bottle.

A: Pours a clear ruby brown with a 2 finger puffy off white head. Not much visible carbonation, head sticks around as you sip.-
A good amount of lacing on the glass.

S: First I get dark fruits and hops with a carmely brown sugar backing. I like the over-ripened sweet fruit smell. Roasty chocolaty malts. Alcohol is faint in the background.

T: Sweet candied taste with a strong hop bittering. Flavor is smooth from start to finish leaving a twangy hop taste on the tongue. The chocolate malts are a great touch and kick in as it warms up.

M: Fairly flat on the palate. Low carbonation and a little thin. Has the warming of a good winter beer.

Overall I think it would be better fresher but I can still enjoy its qualities. With a name like Brrr sounds like it needs some bourbon aging.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear, near burnt orange color with an off-white, 2 finger head. Excellent retention. Phenomenal amount of lacing, showing good stick.

Smell - Aroma is aggressively hopped, hitting on strong grapefruit character. Underlying notes of bread and caramel.

Taste - Follows the nose to a T. Grapefruit hop character dominates much of the profile, while lesser notes of caramel peak through somewhere toward the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, with fair carbonation. Smooth, almost creamy on the swallow.

Overall - This is a lot closer to a winter seasonal IPA than it is a Winter Warmer. Think Sierra Nevada Celebration, and you've got a good idea about what this beer is, though I prefer the latter.

Photo of GilGarp
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer today on the advice from fellow BAers (frequently voted best winter seasonal on a forum).

Pours into the curvy Sam Adams glass a golden red amber color with almost no head at all. Surprisingly, there is some lacing left behind as the beer goes down.

Aroma is very hoppy with grapefruit and other citrus on the nose.

Flavor is basically that of a well-done IPA. Lots of hop bitterness dominates the palate while the malt is there to provide a little sweetness and balance the equation.

Mouthfeel is good but seems a little thin. Very little carbonation but that's to my liking.

Drinkability is good especially for an IPA. I wouldn't stop to think about having another if it was cold.

A very good beer but one that doesn't seem to fit the style. I expect a beer in this category to have warming spice and dark malts. While this isn't sub par by any means, it doesn't seem to fit "winter warmer" as well as it does IPA.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just found this bottle at the bottom of an old trade box received from msubulldog25 several months ago. A great surprise.

Deep copper/amber color, rusty and only mildly hazed, with a small-ish head and a few dots of lace here and there.

Really nice hop-centered aroma. Very much reminds of Sierra Nevada's Celebration. There's a general fruitiness pervading, with some cinnamon and a pinch of white pepper too.

Flavor and mouthfeel work together as a team here, even more than most beers. Hard to consider one without the other. Has a creamy, round, chewy texture that brings in the sweetness of fresh cream, amplifying a base that recalls any number of red fruits and a hop-heavy character. Malts are big yet somehow stealthy against all that other stuff. Then I wonder if the sweeter, gooier flavor is playing tricks on me, because there's a decidedly pricklier side to the mouthfeel. That matches up with the hops nicely, and overall the candy-like finish reminds me of gooey cherry or raspberry taffy. With an extra spice kick.

This is a wonderful beer. And unique. It's not the first Widmer Bros. offering I've had, but it's easily the best.

[The name of this beer should be kind of funny to fans of old Helloween who really know their trivia--I know you're out there! Otherwise, it's just a cool name--no pun intended.]

Photo of Magpie14
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: radiant gold with orange and caramel hues. White foamy head, sub-par retention, and rings of lace. Bubbles floated about at a lethargic pace

S: large and in charge pine, citric, floral hops. A touch of spices in the mix

T: hmm, I swear I am drinking a good IPA/APA. Sweet malt character shines through, but is minimal. Hops are clean, spicy, and with a slight acidic fruit zest. I would not consider this one a winter warmer so much, but a great APA! I can get a bit of cinnamon and honey sweetness that leans more toward the holidays and as it warmed slight roasted malt character is noticeable

M: lively carbonation and hop bite take away from being a real smooth drinker. Definite oily hopped finish, lingers nicely I might add

D: this one should be a regular and not seasonal, hop character is nice and overall a tasty brew

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, bought in a six pack.

Appearance - Clear and dark amber with a foamy tan head that didn't retain long and had minimal lacing.

Smell - Sweet, bready, malty with noticeable pine-like hops scents.

Taste - Hoppy, sweet and malty. Not as flavorful as the Widmer Broken Halo IPA or Drifter APA. This tastes more like a hoppy amber ale.

Mouth feel - Heavily carbonated, a bit thin and nothing exceptional.

Drinkability - Very smooth for a relatively higher ABV American amber beer (it doesn't really fit in the traditional "winter warmer" style category), but I'll probably stick with the Widmer Drifter APA or Broken Halo IPA first.

Photo of tdm168
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark caramel brown with a half of an inch of dense, soft, brownish head that has decent retention. The nose is rather citrusy with some grapefruit aromas, and there are some faint bready malt notes. The taste is caramelly up front with some citrusy notes. The finish has a piny, spicy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. It finishes a little dry.

This is a decent beer, but the flavor doesn't last. The dryness of the finish diminishes the flavor on the palate. The hops were nice. It was a nice change of pace from the standard winter warmers that all seem to offer ginger and spices. The mouthfeel was almost perfect, but ultimately it wasn't enough to save this one. Nice, but underwhelming. I would probably have it again, if offered.

Photo of secondtooth
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah, Widmer rarely disappoints my taste buds, and this clean red/amber ale pours with an impressive head and a luxuriously thick lace on the glass.

The nose is caramel malty with some definitely hoppy flair tucked in there. Impressive.

The flavor seems malty at first, but with a clean hops finish that places this more in line with a pale ale. Delicious and worthy!

Photo of hreb
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle is dated "Nov 07 11", though there's no indication what that date means. Chilled and served in pint glass. Beer is caramel color with bright traces of red and just a little haze. Medium thick tan head holds on to a few big bubbles. Aroma is a kick ass combination of fresh yeast, sweet wort, and bright hops (suggesting citrus may come later).

Flavor is impressively complex and perfectly balanced. Crisp, with bitterness brought out by aggressive carbonation, followed by a thick malty sweet body, which plays off the bittering hops which follow that. Finally the beer washes itself away leaving no aftertaste at all. Other flavors are of orange peel and pine.

No spice flavors to speak of, and while the alcohol is on the high side, you'd never guess its weight from this superbly balanced brew. Winter warmer or not, this is great beer.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark maple syrup color with a white drifting head.

Smells of hops and grapefruit very floral.

Taste is very good, decent hop load balanced with berry fruit in the background and sweet sort of malt front.

Strong medium body with mini carbonation firecrackers yum!

Very drinkable and great for a holiday season for sure.

Good beer fro the price sixer for 9 bones.

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Think lacing on the rim. Bright red in color with excellent carbonation.

Smell: Biscuit, pear, and herbs. (Chamomile?) Excellent smell on this one.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Strong pine. Tastes like the Pacific Northwest. Extremely resiny mouthfeel. Rugged stuff for the rugged winter.

Overall Drinkability: Excellent, excellent beer. Definitely better than Widmer's hef.

Photo of ElGordo
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a rich, bright amber color, topped by a lively stark-white head that has some staying power. Aroma of sweet, bready malt (carapils?) and some mild fruity hops. Palate is an agreeable balance of lightly bitter fruity hops and a good dose of bready malt, with notes of light caramel and pine lingering in the back of the mouth. Finish is a bit hot, but not overwhelming.
Body is actually a little thin for a winter warmer of this strength, but doesn't seem out of place given the flavors. While not the most exciting offering this holiday season, this is a decent warmer that is more than adequate for an evening by the fireplace.

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Brrr from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 877 ratings.